Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: Day 15:
Word Count: 968
Date Written: 15 August 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
She lays beside him in the early morning, glad that she actually listened to her mother when she told her how to properly hang curtains. If she hadn’t, she would never have added another two layers to the curtain on her window, and the man now lying beside her would have awakened her screaming as he burned to his death. And yet she can remember times when she had threatened him with that very thing.
Buffy’s lips twist into a wry grin as she sits up on her elbow, but gazing down directly upon his handsome face, that smile vanishes. There’s a lot of bad words and bad blood, as he’d call it, between them in the past, but that’s exactly where it is and where it should stay, she knows: in the past. The man beside her now is not the same man she threatened to stake out in the sunlight. He’s not the same monster who she tried time and again to drive a stake through and yet could never quite manage.
He’s not a monster at all. His hands may be the same hands that have killed people by driving railroad spikes through their skulls. They might be the same hands that went places on her body that she wasn’t ready to have them. They might be the same ones that have closed around her neck in the past in a chokehold. But he is not the same man. Those very same hands now touch her with nothing but care, and they help her beat back the evil and protect the friends and little “sister” that have become her family. It doesn’t matter that there’s no real blood running between them. They are family, her family, and too often, it takes them all to keep them safe and keep the world still spinning.
One would never guess at the trauma that lays just beneath Spike’s surface by simply watching him now. He looks so different, so peaceful, so . . . human, but he’s not. Any human man would have been killed fighting beside her a long time ago, but Spike matches her perfectly in so many ways.
His face hides so many troubles, she knows, and it’s not just the ordinary, run-of-the-mill, stop-the-apocalypse woes. Sometimes, in his sleep, he’s not as peaceful. Sometimes he murmurs about the people he’s killed. Sometimes he screams names, some of which she recognizes while she doesn’t know others. He’s not the same man as he was -- she knows that, but she also knows it’s going to take a lot more redemption for him to accept what she already has: He’s a good man now, but a part of him fears he can never be good.
A tremble passes over Spike’s face as she watches him. She reaches out, touches his forehead, strokes his cheeks. She wonders about the scars he would have if Vampires didn’t heal so fast and notices the one on his eyebrow. She cocks her head to the side as she studies that small scar, wondering where it came from. She knows every scar holds a story, but she doesn’t know that one.
Spike reaches up and catches her wrist as she strokes his face again. His dark lips twist into a teasing smirk. “Like what you see, Slayer?”
A part of him wishes that she could tell him no, that she doesn’t like it -- she loves it instead --, but there’s another part, a part still left sour and aching deep within her that still doesn’t entirely trust any man, the part of her feminine spirit that was hurt first by her father and then by Angel and by so many others too, that doesn’t want to admit that she could ever love him. But she does, even if she’s not ready to say it aloud yet or even think it too clearly for that matter. Instead of all the layered answers she could give him, Buffy tucks her head slightly and simply whispers, “Yes.”
Her fingers stroke his eyebrow. “Wondering about the scar?”
“Yes,” she admits again, seeing no danger in that simple admission.
“Wanna know how it happened?”
Another “yes” is on the tip of her tongue, but she stops herself. It doesn’t matter how it happened. However it happened, he was another man when it happened. He was another man when he did whatever he did to get that scar. She shakes her head. “No.”
His dark blue eyes pop open with surprise. He arches that eyebrow at her in question. She shrugs. “You were a different man then. I don’t want to hear about that, don’t need to hear about it -- “
“Yes,” she affirms, and if her chin thrusts out a little bit further with her determination, they both ignore it. “That was in the past. We don’t need to dwell on that, on any of it. I don’t want to think about what’s behind us. I want to think about what’s ahead of us,” she continues, her voice becoming softer, “together.”
His smile is as brilliant as any rising sun. “Really?” he asks, and the hope in his voice touches her deep within, soothing that part of her that’s scared to trust any man ever again.
“Yes,” she says and settles back down into his arms. “Oh, yes. What’s on the schedule for today?”
“You know the answer to that one, Slayer. I’m still a Vampire no matter what side I walk on. I’ve gotta sleep today.”
“Fine,” she agrees, reaching over, taking his hand, and threading their fingers together. “But what about tonight?” she asks and is already smiling when his answer makes her positively beam.
“Whatever you want.” Yes, the sun really was rising on them, and she could hardly wait to see what it would bring them together!